joi , 7 decembrie 2023

Tracy Chevalier: “Poverty means not being able to be generous to others”

Tracy Chevalierphoto

Renowned writer TRACY CHEVALIER, author of „Girl with a Pearl Earring” and other six wonderful novels, talks about literature, politics, Vermeer, her biggest extravagance and her idea of Paradise, in an exclusive portrait interview for

How do you start your day?

Coffee and muesli.

What do you think is the biggest myth about writers?

That we all drink a lot. Mind you, Hemingway said, „Write drunk; edit sober”, and he may be right in that the first draft should be written loosely, taking risks and experimenting. It’s in the editing where you make the big, sober decisions.

What does luxury mean to you?

Not immediately looking at the price tag on a dress when I’m shopping.

What does poverty mean to you?

Not being able to be generous to others because you only have just enough for yourself and your family.

What do you think was the best idea you ever had?

Wondering what a girl in a painting was thinking about!

What is the quality you most admire in a man?


What is your greatest weakness?

I am easily distracted.

If you could steal something without getting caught, what would it be?

A Vermeer painting.

What or who is your biggest disappointment?

President Obama. He won so gracefully and well, but has not managed to accomplish much during his Presidency. Of course, a lot of this is not his fault, but Congress’, for being so belligerent and disrespectful and forgetting that politics is all about compromise.

What is an essential thing that you learned about yourself through writing?

That I am my own worst critic.

Which time and place would you have liked to live in?

Actually I would like to time travel 200 years forward. I suspect we will crack space travel, and I want to know what’s out there.

What pisses you off about people?

Self-absorption, self-righteousness, selfishness – all the things that start with „self”.

What makes you feel important?

Very little!

What is your biggest extravagance?

A classic car – an old Morris Minor. I just drive it out in the country.

What do you do every night before you go to sleep?

I have to read before turning the light off, even if it’s 2am and I’m exhausted. Reading seems to clear the pathway for me to leave my own life behind and enter the dream world.

What is great about being Tracy Chevalier?

I get to do a job I love.

Describe Paradise.

Husband, son, cat and me at our cottage in the country, reading the newspaper and chatting and laughing, with tea cake.




Tracy Chevalier is currently working on her eighth novel, „At the Edge of the Orchard”. Visit the writers’s official website and Like her official Facebook page!

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